Drew worked for a petite e-commerce company, where his primary responsibility was to keep everything running. He saw to day-to-day maintenance, as well as backup and disaster recovery.

The small shop’s resources were limited. Critical data remained tied up in onsite legacy systems- and of course, the “supply closet” was full of relics from a clunkier, floppier era. Drew did the best he could to shield the company from server outages, power outages, backup failures, and other common scenarios.

Then one day came the emergency neither Drew nor anyone else had ever anticipated…

Men's toilet (room 115, representing room 117), looking north. - California State Office Building No. 1, 915 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, Sacramento County, CA HABS CAL,34-SAC,65-14

A “resolved” dispute with a vendor from the previous year had abruptly evolved into “Pay us £15k immediately.” Drew’s company had agreed to pay that coming Friday, when they’d actually have the funds. It was only Wednesday. Nevertheless, bailiffs had pulled up outside of the office suite where the company was based, with orders to confiscate “all computer-related items.”

Drew’s boss called him from reception, and quickly explained the issue. “Hide the computers!” he finished with a hiss.

There were 7 workstations within the suite. Drew’s pulse began to race. “Where? The offices and closets are crammed full. I can’t take them out the front or the back without being spotted.”

“I don’t care- get creative!” his boss replied. “Those machines house all our email, code, and project deliverables. We’re dead in the water without them! I’ll stall them as long as I can- now go!” Click.

Drew had only moments to think, but desperation hatched an ingenious emergency backup strategy.

A bathroom stall on the 3rd floor became the business’ new center of operations; it was the only bathroom Drew had keys for. Reluctant to use the elevator for fear of running into the bailiffs, he lugged the desktops up the stairwell by hand, one or two at a time, piling them around a sensor-rigged toilet that awarded each deposit with a loud flush.

Once all the machines were secure, Drew taped an “out of order” sign to the stall door, and used a pair of scissors to lock the door from the outside.

Sweaty and out of breath, he stumbled back down to the office- but his work was far from over. If the bailiffs saw desks adorned with monitors and keyboards and mice attached to nothing, they’d surely get suspicious.

Again, hurried inspiration provided the answer: the supply closet.

Within minutes, the office fell into an alternate reality where desktop technology had peaked in 1985. Drew was about to swap out the modern monitors for CRTs when the bailiffs finally barged in with a police escort- Drew’s red-faced, shouting boss on their heels.

Drew hurried back to his own desk and held his breath.

“What is this rubbish?” one bailiff wondered aloud.

“It’s what we have,” Drew’s boss returned defensively.

The bailiffs laid claim to everything in sight- including Drew’s own personal USB hubs.

“Hey, those are mine!” he cried.

"They’re connected to the computer, so they fall under the remit of items to collect,” the bailiff explained.

“I bought these with my own money. They don’t belong to the company. I’ll be damned if you take them!” Drew accidentally brandished the scissors he’d used to lock up the bathroom stall.

“Put those down, sir,” a nearby police officer requested. “They’re making me nervous.”

Drew and the other lower-level minions were sent to wait things out at the pub, because the UK is rather brilliant like that. In the end, the bailiffs decided hauling off a few hundred quid worth of junk wasn’t worth the trip, and wound up seizing nothing.

A great deal of celebration ensued, culminating in the boss agreeing to reward Drew with shares in the company. Afterward, Drew went back to the office to perform disaster recovery, so everyone could start work the next day as normal.

An office worker from a different suite was present in the mens’ room. Drew tore down the “out of order” sign, forced open the lock with scissors, and entered the stall. One noisy automatic flush later, he walked out with one of the desktops propped on his shoulder.

"Don’t ask,” Drew told the other gentleman.

"I…don’t want to know,” he replied.

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